What's For Dinner: Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Sugar and Citrus Chicken Breasts

Two slow cooker meals in one week? What is going on around here!? While I tend to reach for my slow cooker solely in the cooler months, as the temperatures begin to rise around these parts, I'm finding I have less and less desire to turn on the oven -- particularly since our house lacks air conditioning. 

I was at a loss as to what to cook for dinner the other night, so, after confirming that our fridge didn't have much to offer, I took a quick look into the deep freezer in the basement and came upon some frozen chicken breasts. No time to thaw, but no need for the slow cooker. (Yay!) All I had to do was whisk a quick sauce together, pour it over the chicken, set the slow cooker to low, and my work was done (at least for the next six hours). This chicken dish has quite a bit of spiciness going on -- if you'd prefer a milder flavor, leave out (or use less of) the red pepper flakes and chopped jalapeño. 

Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Sugar and Citrus Chicken Breasts (printer-friendly version)
makes 4 servings

4 6-oz frozen organic chicken breasts
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest from 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5-6 cloves)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy (or tamari) sauce
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
1 cup diced red pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Coat a 2- or 4-quart slow cooker bowl with cooking spray. Place the frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, garlic, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the chopped jalapeño and diced red pepper.
3. Pour the sauce over top the chicken. Place the lid on the slow cooker, set to low, and cook for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
4. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Stir in the cornstarch and turn the temperature setting to high. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
5. Serve the chicken over quinoa, rice, or noodles. Pour the sauce over the chicken before serving.